Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Not yet statistically significant (Score 1) 408

Well it is interesting in so far as knowing when the companies think they need to have human operators still.

Actually, having a licensed human operator ready to take over is a legal precondition for putting an autonomous car on the road (in all US states where they're legal at all).

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

by cduffy (#49598791) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

Prepare for another culture-shock, my dear passport-less American. Tokyo has competing privately-owned subway lines. Japan's wonderful highspeed trains are privately-owned too.

Which shock would this be, exactly? Major American cities used to have competing privately-owned commuter rail lines as well -- mostly torn down in the first half of the 1900s in favor of the highway model. This is by no means a surprise to anyone who knows even local transportation history.

If a government is doing it, it can not be smart...

You lecture me about fallacies, and then pull out that?! I find it hard to believe that you're actually interested in making a good-faith attempt at a meeting of the minds.

Comment: Re:Damn... (Score 1) 494

by cduffy (#49556817) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

(lest see, how liberals who like to say that "you have rights for your opinion" and then mumble "but only, if we agree" assholes are going to react :)

Since you asked -- having a right to an opinion doesn't mean having a right to be protected from social consequences from your actions taken in airing that opinion.

Which is to say -- you're allowed to be an ass in public. Other people are allowed to be an ass to you in public as well; such is the market of public ideas. Mistaking people who don't want to be friends with you / listen to you / do business with you in response to your positions with people who would censor you (that is, invoke government action in response to your speech or act to make make that speech illegal) is a mistake.

You might ponder what it means that you believe in what you're saying enough to shout it from the world only from a position of anonymity (or, in Cito's case, pseudonymity). If there are people you respect for holding their convictions, did they do likewise?

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

by cduffy (#49525767) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

So, in addition to "affordable" housing, in your ideal world, the poor will also be provided (by someone) with "affordable" Priuses?

Perhaps you've heard of this thing called "transit"?

Which, when done right, gets used by everyone, not just the poor. It was not so long ago a culture shock for me, as a Texan, when my (New-York-based) CEO would take the subway; now, as a transplant to Chicago, I'm very much happier not owning a car at all; my work is a 10-minute walk (hooray for urban high-rise living!), Costco a 20-minute bike ride (hooray for cargo bikes!), my more distant friends in town (or the corporate office, if I need to visit it for some reason) a $2.50, 40-minute train ride, during which my time is free to read, make notes, or otherwise do as I please.

Back to point -- no, setting up your urban environment in such a way that the poor need to drive expensive-to-maintain, expensive-to-fuel vehicles a long distance is not a necessity. Transit systems are subsidized at a higher rate than roads, but not by as much as you might think -- use taxes on highways are under 50% of their costs -- and adding capacity to a roadway system in an urban environment is prohibitively expensive -- particularly compared to adding capacity to preexisting urban rail. And if you look at the economic payoff from that subsidy -- by way of increasing folks' access to jobs -- it's an extremely clear win.

Smart urban planning -- to avoid the need for commutes in the first place by making housing as dense, and nearby to shopping and employment, as possible -- is, of course, even better.

(Back on the "expensive" part of long commutes -- you might find The True Cost of Commuting a worthwhile read, in terms of putting some actual numbers into play).

Comment: Re:LARD from Duke Nukem (Score 1) 160

by cduffy (#49263765) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen

New York is another. Ultra-high-density communities may not be common in the US -- but the ones that do are exist are, well, kinda' a big deal.

But -- oh, yeah! -- we were talking about city planning as relates to lower-income folks. And the thing is, even though you and I might consider it impossible to get to work, buy groceries, &c. in much of the country without a car, there are still people doing that by necessity. My brother-in-law used to take his bicycle on the bus and sleep on a bench until his shift started, because the bus routes he needed shut down long before his shift started. When city planning is done in a way that assumes everyone is going to have a car, what you get is people left behind by the system. If you're lucky, they can manage to hold down jobs anyhow -- if you aren't, you have more folks who need safety-net features much more expensive than public transportation.

Comment: Re:LARD from Duke Nukem (Score 1) 160

by cduffy (#49261125) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen

Don't know why I want to feed the troll -- and explicitly not accepting the assertions I don't challenge here, but...

You talk about "traffic flow" -- but think about this for a minute. You're proposing to take a very high-population, dense chunk of city -- plugged into the rest of that city's transportation network -- and move it out into the middle of nowhere.

Have you looked at the level of car ownership in high-density areas recently -- particularly in lower-income high-density areas? How exactly do you expect folks to get to work or school when they're suddenly no longer in an area with transit access? (And without that, how do you expect folks to work, or go to school to improve their circumstances? Would you rather be buying the same number of heads worth of homeless shelter, and getting no tax base at all)?

Hell. I'm in the rich part (financial district) of downtown Chicago, and less than half my neighbors if that own cars if that; being in walking distance from work (and directly next to a stop for every single L line) is why people pay to live in the Loop. Owning a vehicle is expensive in a city -- heck, parking wherever you're going to is expensive in and of itself, as is having a place to park that vehicle at home (in my building, a parking spot costs about $30k to buy, or rents for upward of $200/mo). You can't take folks who can't afford decent housing unassisted, move them away from their jobs, and expect them all to be able to buy, maintain and fuel vehicles -- and park those vehicles near their jobs in the city -- when they were only barely making ends meet beforehand. It's insane.

Comment: Re:Not quite comparable (Score 1) 215

by cduffy (#49061025) Attached to: Japan Now Has More Car Charging Points Than Gas Stations

Pardon? States other than NJ or OR still require there to be a person on site who can hit the kill switch for the pumps. (I don't know if helping folks with disabilities pump their gas is legally mandatory, and if in so in which states, but this is likewise common even in "self-serve" stations).

"Attendant" is not synonymous with "full-service".

Comment: Re:And where is my money?? (Score 1) 51

by cduffy (#48639445) Attached to: T-Mobile To Pay $90M For Unauthorized Charges On Customers' Bills

More like $20, and that's for people who don't look up how much they were actually charged.

And cash, not a voucher. I'm a former T-Mobile customer, and they looked up my new contact information and got in touch to let me know that this was available (how to ask them to research my actual charges, vs how to accept the default amount).

A lot of these settlements are BS, but you might do a bit of homework for claiming that this is just more of the same.

Comment: Re:Supply and demand (Score 1) 190

by cduffy (#48602319) Attached to: Why Didn't Sidecar's Flex Pricing Work?

Did you miss the part where (per said driver's assertion) Sidecar paid a better post-deduction base rate even without the temporary promotion?

Also, it's not exactly like there are substantial costs associated with switching which service a driver chooses to work from. If rational economic decisions were being followed, one would expect a driver to want to double their money while it was possible to do so, and then switch back to a different service if that paid better the rest of the time.

Comment: Re:Supply and demand (Score 0, Troll) 190

by cduffy (#48601343) Attached to: Why Didn't Sidecar's Flex Pricing Work?

Except that drivers aren't making more money with Uber or Lyft.

Saturday night I took a Sidecar home, and our driver was talking about how Sidecar is currently offering better base rates (after accounting for deductions -- Uber shows drivers the price a customer is paying before their cut is taken out), and currently offering double payouts from their marketing budget as a limited-time promotion to attract more drivers.

The premise that Uber or Lyft pays better is, presently, false.

Comment: Re:America, land of the free... (Score 2) 720

by cduffy (#48548235) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

There is no law barring employment for felons â" on the contrary, the state goes out of its way to encourage employers to hire them, to reduce recidivism.

...but they do a rather bad job of it, as a great many of your larger employers have a zero-tolerance policy.

To be born and raised in the USA â" the country, to which millions of people dream of migrating (legally and otherwise) â" and waste your youthful years on crime?

The advice the OP is asking for applies to other folks as well. One of my friends has a felony record for running web hosting for a brothel a friend of his owned, and otherwise offering services and support to a business which was to the best of his knowledge strictly offering services between consenting adults... and not turning her in when he changed his mind about being willing to continue to provide that support. That folks who don't follow a libertarian philosophy could see that as a lapse of ethics is certainly granted -- but a lapse that should mean that 4/5ths of employment prospects are permanently off the table? That's harsh.

That said -- he's working today, for an employer well aware of the entirety of his background (including his meticulous attention to detail and corner cases in software design and development). So, yes -- fewer options, but some do still exist.

Comment: Re: Civics class (Score 1) 481

by cduffy (#48455001) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

From my perspective, it tends to be the people who say they support "family values" that actually support legal and social measures that keep families small.

Look at who it is defending zoning laws enforcing "single-family household" status as excluding larger chosen (non-blood-related) families, and compare to who it is embracing legal and social norms that allow maximum flexibility in assembling a strong, self-supporting structure from such components as available. Look at who is trying to restrict legal marriage and adoption and who is trying to extend it. Look at the group voting for judges that view large aggregated families-of-choice as evidence of perversion -- from which children should be protected -- and the group voting for judges who view a large, stable support network built from people who love and care for each other as precisely that. I'm all for "family values", in by that one means values that support large and strong families... but if I say "family values" in public to a random stranger, what's going to come to their mind is not the same as what I'm actually referring to.

I say this as someone who is overwhelmingly happy to have participated in the upbringing of children -- two of whom are now legal adults -- in whose genes I have no role, but to whose memes and ethics I am gratified to have contributed. I'm glad to have contributed to the financial stability of their household; I'm glad to have been another person there to help with homework and listen to their stories and serve as a role model and help keep things running. The people who say they support "family values" but who would have broken apart that family? I cannot, at such short notice, find words for the damage I see being done -- or attempted -- in the name of "family values".

*sigh*.

And yes, I know that you're acknowledging much of the above, and that a great deal of my rant (perhaps all of it) doesn't apply to you. Please forgive that. I don't believe your assertion that anyone (for a statistically significant value of same) views state programs as an adequate replacement for having a genuine support structure... but would suggest that, perhaps, there are those who would like those who don't have a support structure to have somewhere to turn.

I've known too many people whose blood families weren't a healthy place for them -- physical abuse and the like. Several of those people were welcomed into a family of choice that gave them the support that they needed -- but not everyone can be that lucky, and establishing social policy in a way that only helps those who are already fortunate... well, there's a lot of that done already, and a lot of people it leaves behind.

Comment: Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 1) 454

by cduffy (#48446921) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

Finding road edge boundaries in snow, at least, is actually a place where existing self-driving car systems do better than humans already. Keep in mind that they're not limited to the visual end of the EM spectrum.

For the rest, I'll defer to empirical studies on effectiveness under varying conditions. It's easy to think of corner cases -- but the real question, corner cases or no, is whether the average amount of liability incurred per hour of driving is greater or less than a human at the wheel.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose

Working...